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I had a C-Section – So What?

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.
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I shared my birth story with the world a couple of years after Tiny was born. At that time I was still pretty bitter about it. After all, my beautiful, gentle, intervention free birth experience turned into a cold, sterile, surgical birth.

Yes, I had a C-Section.

Three years and three months post-partum and I am finally ok with it. I am more than ok. I honestly really don’t care anymore.

You see, I still carried Tiny under my hearth for 41 weeks. I nourished her. I gave her life. I still BIRTHED her.


So she was pulled feet first from my belly. Big deal. She was still born. Tiny was healthy and safe. I was healthy and safe.

When I first started reading a lot of natural parenting blogs, I think I actually slid backwards insofar as embracing my birth experience. All these beautiful birth stories just solidified the fact that I had failed to give Tiny the birth I had envisioned for her.

But guess what?  Now that I know Tiny, I know that the way she came into this world was exactly the way SHE WANTED to get here. Yes, I firmly believe that Tiny opted to come out of my belly. What Tiny wants, Tiny gets.

The important thing is that she got here.

There is so much talk about empowering mothers, encouraging them to give birth as our ancestors did. But while all of this support for natural birth is going on, there are a lot of women out there who are making informed birthing decisions but not getting the birth experience that they had desired. Dealing with the loss of a natural birth experience is difficult as a new mother. So we sort of push those feelings aside to concentrate on figuring the motherhood thing out.

But then those feelings resurface. And you know what?  THAT is the time when a woman needs support! When we are feeling so low, so angry, so upset that we did not get the birth we so desperately wanted…that is when we need other mamas to say, “hey – no big deal. You are no less of a woman for anything you chose or that happened to you. You are still a mother.”

I feel so free these days. I no longer feel bogged down by what I did not get to experience. Instead, I throw myself fully into mothering the little girl in front of me. At the end of the day, she is what matters. Her birth story is just one small slice of her life. And it was still beautiful.

So here is what I would like to do. I would like to rewrite Tiny’s birth story. It is simple. It is honest. It is real. So here it goes:

Dear Tiny,

You came into this world feet first, emerging from my belly in the wee hours of the morning. I caught a brief glimpse of you but in that second, I felt a wave of love so crushing, so powerful and I knew that I had become a mother. Mommy. Your mommy.

I desperately wanted to feel you against my skin.  I wanted to smell you.  I wanted to hold you and never let go.  I wanted to look into your eyes.  I wanted to kiss you, snuggle you, and tell you how much I loved you already.

I did not get that chance for two hours.  I was like a caged lion…waiting, watching with a sharp eye, growling, unable to get to you. I needed you and you needed me.

When we were finally united, time and space stood still. The world literally stopped as I looked into your deep brown eyes and prayed harder than I had ever prayed before.  I prayed that God would guide you, protect you, and support me as I mothered you. 

I had the most beautiful birth imaginable, because I gave birth to you. My heart. My love.

Love,
Mama

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)

Comments

  1. Oh, that is beautiful. I’m sure Tiny will be proud of her birth story. My mom was completely disrespected and separated from me at my birth, and yet I’ve always been proud of the story, the way she tells it. Because at the end of the story, the takeaway is always “I was so happy to have you in my arms at last.” And that’s what a child wants to know, more than anything.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Mama!! Love the new birth story. You found the way to bring your child into this world that would keep her healthy, you did a wonderful thing.

  3. I think there is so little support for women birthing naturally in the culture and medical institution in general that it’s easy for the natural parenting community to go to the other extreme. I adore your re-written birth story. The way you expressed your love for Tiny is just beautiful!

  4. Ok, I’m crying now. That is beautiful, Jennifer.

    It’s so true — as important as birth is, culturally, individually, it’s not the sum of what parenting is. No matter how your child came into your life, the fact that she’s there is the beautiful thing.

    I really think one reason birth is a tricky topic to navigate is that natural birth supporters are trying to change a whole system that’s running counter to our ideals. That can sometimes make it seem like we blame the women who get enmeshed in the non-natural system, but that’s not it at all (or shouldn’t be). Kind of like not blaming women for choosing to or having to formula feed, but advocating for more support of breastfeeding at a wider level. All that to say, you did exactly what you were supposed to to help Tiny arrive, and what a blessing she is to the world!

  5. Jennifer, the rewritten story is so moving, so powerful… it brought tears to my eyes as love welled up in *my* heart. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, you are right on! Love you. :)

  6. Jennifer, the rewritten story is so moving, so powerful… it brought tears to my eyes as love welled up in *my* heart. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, you are right on! Love you. :)

  7. Dionna @ Code Name: Mama says:

    We do need to do more to celebrate every mama’s birth experience. You are an incredible mama to Tiny and a wonderful mama friend to me – your birth is a part of what makes you so fabulous.

  8. I know more than a few moms who are searching for this kind of permission to let go. I think your story will be very helpful to many. It literally gave me shivers. Thank you for your honesty.

  9. I, too had a C section with my first birth. You did well for it only taking three years to be OK with it. It took me so long and EMDR treatments to overcome the trauma.

    Tiny is beautiful and so loved!

  10. Oh, there must be something in my eye… *blub* Thanks for sharing. I really needed this. I was where you were as well and getting past that “My body failed me, therefore I failed at birthing because I didn’t get what I planned for and wanted.” haunted me for a LONG time. Getting ready for Katherine’s birth I’ve been unpacking the last of the baggage and am looking forward to the whole thing, no matter what happens.

  11. Yes! Tiny is here and that is the most important thing – and yes, you did birth her! I choose to focus on the same things concerning my C-section. Beautiful post.

  12. Swoon! I love your rewritten birth story – Tiny is blessed to have those words to cherish in the future :)

  13. I’m so happy to hear that you have embraced Tiny’s birth.
    I keep thinking if we have a third I’ll look into VBAC since H didn’t need to be a c-section.

  14. I prayed that God would guide you, protect you, and support me as I mothered you.

    Out of this whole story, this sentence right here just eats me up each time I read it.

    Your story is beautiful. Your love for your child is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  15. Oh I can relate to your experience on so many levels. Thank you for sharing. Your story for Tiny brought tears to my eyes and filled me with love and joy…and it is wonderful knowing there are many of us out there who are in this together! Thank you!

  16. I’m bawling. This was beautiful. There is so much tension in life between what we want and what we know we can have. There are many things in life that aren’t as “ideal” as we want them to be. But when we look back, most of us know that this is the right path. We can see it in hindsight. We embrace it in hindsight. It’s so unfortunate that sometimes, our birth experiences are so hard to embrace, even in hindsight. But you did. I love that.

  17. Hi! I came across your blog and had to read the birth story. It sounds so eerily like mine it’s insane. We were going for the all-natural, low-intervention birth, when just after 38 weeks my baby turned around and nestled her head under my right ribs. They discovered she was breech at 39 weeks and immediately said I needed a scheduled c-section. We resisted, though, and did whatever we could to try and turn her. We said if I went into labor and she was still breech, then we’d do the c-section. We found out at 40 weeks that she was partial footling, and that frightened me a bit. I went into labor the next day, though, and the c-section happened at 1am on Dec 16.

    It wasn’t what I wanted. I still struggle with the emotions. For one, my baby is healthy and beautiful and HERE. But the scar is the nasty reminder of what I had to do for that. I’m hoping with our next child it will be a different experience.

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